By now I would suspect the Mets have prepared multiple back up plans as we wait out Mr. Bay. As I step back and examine our options one name in that ridiculous 2010 Free Agent class stands out (King Albert aside of course). If Carl Crawford were available this year would Omar still prefer Jason Bay? That was a rhetorical question...at least hopefully it was to Minaya. So my next question to Omar would be this: can we afford to wait one year and roll the dice with Crawford? Can we survive one more year with a gaping hole in LF? If we withdrew our offer on Bay and decided to swipe one or even two of the top 2nd tier pitchers off the FA market this year, we might have to look internally for a Left Fielder. Judging from last year I think we can rule out Daniel Murphy, but what about the young'n? I am actually surprised not to hear more about Fernando Martinez this off-season. Still only 20 years old, the kid got his dose of the big leagues last year. Maybe once he gets his game in to shape for the season we call him up? Until then..Angel Pagan? Is Pagan really that much of a downgrade defensively than Bay? We know he can hit that's for sure. Back to Crawford though. He hit .305 last year with 96 runs and 60 SB's, an absolute menace on the base paths. He is a career .295 hitter, 15 points higher than Bay. It's hard to argue that he is not perfect for Citifield with it's wide dimensions. With his speed, he not only should get a few inside the park homers, but he can cover much more ground out in the outfield. Now Crawford is no Gold Glover, but I've sure never heard a knock on his defense, and I cannot say the same for the Free Agents on the market now. Plus, pretty tough to snag a Gold Glove in the AL considering Torii Hunter and Ichiro have won every year since 2001. I can see Crawford batting in a few different spots in our lineup, but the most intriguing is 2nd after Reyes. With these 2 at the top of the lineup as place setters they would drive pitchers insane...think Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre on the 2003 World Champion Marlins. So how likely is it that we could sign Crawford? The main hurdle might be his loyalty to the Rays. He has become the face of that organization and a fan favorite. He has already announced that he wants to stay in Tampa, but we all know money talks. I honestly think the Yanks signing of Curtis Granderson in the offseason might help the Mets case, as maybe they snagged the OF they were looking for already. Although, the Yanks rarely don't at least consider signing the best Free Agents each year. Same goes for the Sox. With an OF of Cameron, Ellsbury and Hermida/Drew/Bay?? maybe they will back off as well. With no major signing this offseason, you can bet Omar will have the cash to spend in 2010 and be able to compete in the marketplace. This year I don't think it would be the worst thing to see what the kid Martinez can really do. If he really looks promising, we might not even decide we need an OF and then we can go hard after Josh Beckett who some can argue we might need more anyway. Just wanted to let Met fans know it is not the end of the world if Bay signs elsewhere. Yes, he is a good power hitter and we could sure use a guy like that in our lineup, but there are definitely other options that may even be more attractive. Crawford is in his prime at 28. Maybe he can be our future instead of just our 2009 "splash".